November 2019
Measurements that Matter with Equifax’s Vice President of Solutions Marketing Laurie Hood

Measurements that Matter with Equifax’s Vice President of Solutions Marketing Laurie Hood

Today, corporate marketers have access to more data, information and insights than ever before. All this big data should help us measure marketing in ways previously not possible.

Let’s check in with Arketi friend and corporate marketing pro Laurie Hood, vice president of solutions marketing at Equifax, a global information solutions company.

Laurie and her team at this FinTech giant create and deploy marketing programs that showcase how data, innovative analytics, technology, and industry expertise transform knowledge into insights that help businesses and consumers make more informed decisions.

All of which makes her a great person to talk to about what measurements matter to B2B marketers today.

Arketi Group: Why does marketing and communications measurement matter to Equifax?

Laurie Hood: Measurement really translates to accountability for how we’re spending our marketing dollars. Knowing how that investment will ultimately impact the business is what we need to understand when setting our marketing budgets.

As the executive team has become more focused on marketing spend, there is a corresponding accountability for those funds. Measuring marketing tracks not only what we are doing, but also how the activities we are executing impact the business.

What are the top three marketing and communications measurements that matter to Equifax?

Equifax is a very diverse business, from product line and geography to customer type and sales cycle. As a result, we have a variety of tactical marketing measurements that we track at the campaign level.

But if I distill it up to a higher level, what I’m really looking at is the level of engagement we have with our customers and how that engagement is influencing closed business. Our model is very focused on continuing to cross-sell and upsell to current customers. While we continue working to attract new logos, a big part of our marketing strategy is about helping current customers understand how different capabilities and offerings can give their businesses a greater competitive advantage.

We want to know how they’re engaging with us through content and campaigns – and ultimately, if that engagement influences deals we win.

Are there any red herrings in measurements that you’ve discovered throughout your career?

Yes, there are a couple. One is over focusing on benchmarking your company results against like companies or within your industry. While you need to have baseline benchmarks and track against them, campaigns often have a very specific purpose and may perform differently. So even if your numbers do not look great, the results may in fact really play very well based on that campaign.

For example, if you’re doing a product-specific campaign, you may not have a great email open rate because the audience is narrow and perhaps more niche. It’s not about thought leadership, it’s about a product. But if that campaign with a very low email open rate drives a million-dollar deal, that’s a win for the marketing team.

As marketers, we must to look at each campaign independently and figure out what’s important. And if it goes against what the standard benchmarks are, who cares, as long as you get the performance you are looking for?

If you could only measure one thing at Equifax, what would that be?

I’d want to measure the hardest thing, of course, such as whether the campaigns we are executing are influencing closed business.

At Equifax, we have a position of strength around credit risk. But the company is now moving into other business areas, such as fraud and risk solutions, and data-driven marketing insights. The marketing teams want to know if we can take that beachhead within a customer and expand from it. We want to use marketing as a lever to drive Equifax solutions, services and offerings into other parts of our customers business.

What are some cost-effective marketing and communication measurements that you’ve used throughout your career?

A key marketing tactic for nearly all B2B companies today is email. That, of course, enables key metrics that are easy to measure such as:

  • How are emails performing?
  • Are emails driving acquisition?
  • New names added to build the subscriber list?
  • Are we building brand?

Is there one marketing measurement tool you are excited about today?

Most B2B marketing teams today are already using web analytics and email measurement tools from whatever marketing technology they have in place. What we need to do is move those siloed measurements into a marketing dashboard that tells a story.

When you’re going to senior leadership, measurement in a vacuum – especially if they’re not necessarily marketing-savvy – is not always your friend. So how do you take all the different data points generated by the marketing technology to present meaningful measurements and tell a story?

Bringing together your social listening insights with your email performance metrics, combining that with webinar registrations, website traffic and what’s happening on your LinkedIn page – this is where B2B marketers need to be heading.

The executive dashboard approach lets us present strong results from one channel in the context of all the other marketing activities. This is key because the reality is it takes a little bit of social, a little bit of email, maybe a webinar, some nice earned media placements and a powerful website with strong SEO to move the B2B marketing needle today.

All those marketing strategies and tactics come together to influence the high-dollar, complex enterprise sale. Today we are looking across the buyer journey and presenting how a cohesive strategy is maximized across all of the marketing levers.

I’m very excited at the prospect of an automated executive dashboard that gives a single-pane view of our marketing effectiveness story. Today, we’re getting those numbers from the different systems and aggregating them into a dashboard. We don’t have a single technology solutions – but we’re getting closer. Stay tuned for more!



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